start page Charles V TOUR :  Gustav I Wasa of Sweden

Danish contemporaries
Christian II, 1513-1523 King of Denmark
Frederik I, 1523-1533 King of Denmark
Christian III, 1534-1559 King of Denmark

Christian II, 1513-1523 King of Denmark
Christian followed his father as King of Denmark, Norway (and Sweden) in 1513. While the Danish and Norwegian estates elected Christian as king, Sweden resisted the appropriation. Sweden had previously left the Kalmar Union, a loose union of the three kingdoms. It was not until 1520, that Christian II was able to defeat Sweden rebels. After his coronation as king of Sweden, Christian surprised the country with the "Stockholm Bloodbath", in which leading nobles were murdered. This led to the uprising of the Swedes guided by Gustav Wasa. Danes were driven out of Sweden again. The Kalmar Union ended definitively.
Emperor Maximilian I arranged the wedding of Christian with 14-year-old Isabella of Austria, a sister of Charles V in 1515. To the general indignation, Christian made his mistress Dyveke to his wife's companion. When Dyveke died suddenly in 1517, Christian had a nobleman executed, on dubious grounds, for having poisoned her.
After visiting the more bourgeois Netherlands, Christian wanted to suppress the influence of the powerful nobility in Denmark and Sweden in 1521 by introducing reforms. But he failed. The progressive despot lost his power base in Denmark and had to flee to the Netherlands in 1523, while Christian's uncle, Duke Frederik of Holstein, was elected king of Denmark.
Christian's wife Isabella died in 1526, after which the children were taken away from Christian and put into the care of Margaret of Austria.
When Christian tried to retake Norway in 1531, he was defeated. He remained imprisoned until his death in 1559. One can say, that Emperor Maximilian had much luck with his famous marriage policy in two cases, but no luck at all in the case of Christian II.


Silver gulden 1523, Malmö.     Ø 42 mm, 29,19g.   Galster 38, Schou 2, Dav.8220.
1 Sølvgylden (Silver gulden) = 24 Skilling (Shilling)

Obv.:   ✥CRISTIERИVS DEI.GRA:REX:DACIE:SVECIE:ИORVE
"Christian by the grace of God King of Denmark, Sweden, Norway"
The king sitting on an ornate throne, scepter in the right, orb in the left,
all in eight pass - still in the style of the high Middle Ages.
The Multi Pass, a popular gothic ornament, corresponds in shape to the Gothic church windows.
Obv.: XPS:IHS:ELEGIT:ᙏE:REGEᙏ:POPVLO:SVO:1:5:Z3
"Christ Jesus chose me as king for his people 1523"
under the royal crown a quartered coat of arms: Denmark (3 lions), Sweden (3 crowns),
Norway (lion with ax), vandals (mythical creature),
laid on it: Schleswig (2 lions), Holstein (nettle leaf), Stormarn (part of Holstein), Schleswig
central: Oldenburg (double beam)
The Danish orb:
Actually, only the emperor and the German king used to adorn themselves with the orb as future emperors. However, this principle was already abandoned in the high Middle Ages.
Knut the Great, who conquered England and became King of Denmark, gave his daughter Kunigunde as a pledge to Emperor Conrad II at his court. She married the future Emperor Henry III in 1036 and because of this relationship, Knut thought he could imitate the emperor. As a result, Knut's successors in England and Denmark felt entitled to adjust their appearance to that of the emperor.     [P.E. Schramm, Sphaira·Globus·Reichsapfel, p.116-7]


Silbergulden o. J.     Ø mm, 13,72 g.   Galster 44, Schou 2, Dav.-.
After cast, late 20th century, by Jørgen Sømod based on the specimen from Paris.

Obv.:   ♛CRISTIERNus9·Z OANIE·SVECIE NOR VADALIE GORTHIER REX
Rev.:   ♛DVX SLESVIC ET HOLSACIE STORMARIE AC DITM COMES I DIDEb Z


Cast silver medal n. d., "Dimicandum" medal.     Ø 56 mm, 66,00 g.
On Christian's claim to the crown of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
After cast (18th century) of the original created around 1525 (in the KHM Vienna).

Obv.:   CHRISTIERNVS·D·G·DANIÆ·SVECIÆ·ET NORVEG·REX
Geharnischre Büste rechrs mit Klappmütze und Orden vom Goldenen Vlies.
Rev.:   DIMICANDVM     "It must be fought"
An eagle with spread wings holding a snake in its claws.
The medal was commissioned by a friend in the Netherlands or Germany.
Lit.: K. Bendixen: Chrisiern des Andes Dimicandum-Medaille - Numismatiska Meddelanden XXX (1965) 184.

Christian's II grandfather, Christian I of Oldenburg, was elected King of Denmark in 1448. He founded the Oldenburg dynasty in Denmark (1448-1863). Christian I was also elected by the Schleswig-Holstein Knights in 1460 as their sovereign. Christian I. was thus in 5-fold personal union King of Denmark, King of Norway, King of Sweden, Duke of Schleswig (Danish fief) and Count of Holstein (Imperial fief).


Double shilling 1535, Malmö or Copenhagen.   Ø 29 mm.
Oldenburg: Kalvelage/Trippler 116c.

Obv.:   CHRISTHOFHORVS COMES OLDENBV   -   arms of Oldenburg/Delmenhorst.
Rev.:   CHRISTERNVS·DG REX·DACI·1535   -   Christian II enthroned.
Issued by Christoph (*1504 †1566) of Oldenburg, with the title Christian II of Denmark.
This double shilling is a coinage from the time of the Count's Feud 1534-1536: under the pretext to reinstate Christian II of Denmark, Christoph himself tried to get Denmark to himself. In this project he was supported by the city of Lübeck. In the Peace of Hamburg in 1536, however, Christoph and Lübeck had to give up their ambitions in Denmark.


Bronze medal 1559, later strike on his death.     Ø 31,5 mm; 14,7 g.
Obv.:   CHRISTIERNVS·II·SVEC·D·N·REX·
Bust to the right, coat on armor, ribbon with golden fleece.
Rev.:   10 lines: 43· / IOHAN·II·Filius· / C·1520· / IN NOBILISS·ET OPT· / CAEDE GRASSATVR· / IN DAN·ABIT I52I· / REDITVS NEGATVS / A LIBERATORE / GVSTAVO· / M·1559·


Cast bronze medal n. d. (c. 1600), unsigned by A. v. Nuis.
Ø 60,8 mm; 77,87 g.   Galster -, 60.

Obv:   CHRISTERNV - ·IOhannes·FIilius·D·G·   -   bust half right.
Rev.:   DANiae·SWEciae·NORvegiae·VANdalorum·GOThorum·&C·REX·DV - X
·Slesvici·Hossatiae·Stormariae·Dithmarsiae·COmes·OLDenburgi·&·DELmenhorstii·
Cartouche: ·A°· / ·GOR·1513· / ·REGN·9· / ·OBIIT·1559· / ·AET·S·78·
"Came to government in 1513, ruled for 9 years, died in 1559 at his age of 78"

Frederik I of Denmark 1523-1533
1490-1533 Duke of Schleswig and Holstein
- nephew of Christian II -
Frederik followed his father Christian I as a duke in Schleswig and Holstein in 1481. In 1490 he shared the country with his brother John I, who also was King of Denmark. When John's son and successor, Christian II, was driven out of Denmark in 1523, the Danish estates elected Frederik as their king. In 1524 he also became King of Norway, which he never entered. He was close to the Reformation and ruled with prudence and moderation. He achieved that Catholics and Protestants used the same churches and that the Bible was translated into Danish. He resided in Gottorf Castle (Schleswig), which he expanded in the Renaissance style and remained there even as King od Denmark. He was the only Danish king not to be buried in Denmark but in Schleswig.

As Duke of Schleswig and Holstein, 1490-1533


Husumer Guldenthaler 1522, Husum.   Ø 39 mm, 28,78 g.  Galster 114; Lange 12; Dav.8235.
Obv.:   FREDERICVS◦DEI◦GRA◦SLESVICEN◦ET◦HOLSAC◦DVX◦
"Frederik of God's Grace Duke of Schleswig and Holstein"   -   Bust with wire hood to the left.
Rev.:   MOИET◦ИOVA*ARGEИTA◦HVSEMEИ◦I5ZZ◦    "New silver money from Husum in 1522"
Helmeted quartered shield:
Norway (lion with ax), Schleswig (2 lions), Holstein (nettle leaf), Stormarn (swan).
Heart crest: Oldenburg (bars).
In addition to this piece from the Hedde Collection (1994), another 10 specimen are known, including 5 in museums (Copenhagen, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Berlin and Hamburg).
This first thaler of Schleswig-Holstein is one of the first true portrait coins in north Europe and shows a real image of the duke; compare an oil painting from 1500s. The ducal mint master Jürgen Dreves had been working in Husum since 1516 and was exempt from tax.
See R. Articus, Der Husumer Taler von 1522 in einer frühen gelehrten Wochenschrift (PDF)
In: Beiträge zur Husumer Stadtgeschichte Bd.12 (2010) S.8-16


Double shilling 1523, Schleswig. (2 Skilling)     Ø 29 mm, 3,98 g.   Galster 124A; Lange 13F.
Obv.:   ◦FRᗺDᗺRICVS⦂D◦ (nettle leaf) ◦DVX HOLSACI◦
Date Z - 3 to the sides of duke's effigy. Below nettle leaf for Holstein.
Rev.:  MOnETA⦂nOVA⦂SILESWICEnSIS◦  -  arms of Schleswig (two lions left on top of each other).


Double shilling 1524, Schleswig. (2 Skilling)     Ø 29 mm, 3,67 g.   Galster 124B; Lange -.
The four of the date in medieval spelling.


Double shilling 1527, Gottorp. (2 Skilling)     Ø 29 mm, 3,61 g.   Galster 124B; Lange 16.
FREDERIC◦D⦂G◦DVX⦂HOLSACIE   //   ◦MONETA⦂NOVA⦂SLESVICENSI▴⦂♣
As before, but nettle leaf in duke's effigy and the date above the coat of arms.


Double shilling n. d., Schleswig.    Ø 29 mm, 3,02 g.   Galster 124 C; Lange 13b.
Obv.:   FREDERICV - Dux HOLSACI  -   armored duke half-left standing over nettle leaf (for Holstein).
Rev.:   MOnETA nOVA:SLESWICEnSIS+   -   coat of arms of Schleswig (two lions).

As King of Denmark, 1523-1533


8 Skilling (1/2 Mark) 1532, Copenhagen.     Ø 29 mm, 3,52 g.   Galster 54.
FRIDERIC·D·G·REX·DAniae·EtNOrvegiae   //   MONETA·NOVA:HAFNIENSIS
Coat of arms with the three Danish lions.   Hafnia means Copenhagen.


Gulden 1532 (later cast), Copenhagen.    Ø 42 mm, 22,46 g.  Galster 256; Schou 6; Dav.8224.
No embossed specimen is known.

Obv.:   ✶FRIDERICVS:D:G:REX:DANIE:ET:NORV  -  Effigy with scepter between date 15 - 3Z.
Rev.:  MONET - NOVA: - HAFNI - ENSIS:  -  Crowned arms of Denmark placed on long cross.


Gulden 1532 (later cast), Copenhagen.     Ø 40 mm, 11,01 g.  Galster 47; Dav.8223.
Obv.:   FRIDERICVS:ET. / SOPHIA:D:G:REX / ET REGINA / DANIE    
Rev.:   IM·MANV·DOMINI·OMNIS·POTENSTAS·TERRE·I·5·2·Z·ᕠ
"All power of the earth is in the hands of the Lord"
The widowed king married Sophia of Pomerania in 1518. After the death of King Friedrich in 1533, his first-born son from his first marriage, Christian III, was made King of Denmark. Two sons from the second marriage became dukes of Schleswig-Holstein.


Posthumously embossed gold medal 1544.     Ø 24 mm, 12,44 g.
specimen from coin cabinet Staatliche Kustssammlungen Dresden

Obv.:   ∗FRIDERIC∗DAN∗REX∗OBIT∗AN∗MDXXXIII∗
"Frederik, King of Denmark, died in 1533"
Rev.:   ∗OPTIMI∗ / AC∗PII∗PATRI / S∗MEMORIAE∗ / FILIA∗DOROTH / EA∗FIERI∗CVR / AVIT∗ANNO∗ / ∗1544∗
"The best and most pious father in memory of his daughter Dorothea ... in 1544"

Christian III, 1534-1559 King of Denmark
- Son of Frederik I. -
Christian (*1503) became a follower of the Reformation when attending the Diet of Worms in 1521. When his father became king, Christian took over the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, where he introduced the Reformation in 1528. After Frederik I died, Christian III had to fight for recognition as King of Denmark and Norway in the so-called Count's Feud (1534-36). The city of Lübeck wanted to consolidate its trade supremacy and organized a military campagne under the leadership of the counts Christoph von Oldenburg in order to liberate ex King Christian II, who had been expelled from Denmark in 1523 and was imprisoned in Norway since 1532. Lübeck and the count quickly conquered Copenhagen and the Danish islands in early 1534. When Prince Christian III had allied with Gustav Vasa of Sweden and had been elected King of Denmark on July 14, 1534, the situation changed. After two lost battles the Council of Lübeck had to acknowledge King Christian III (Peace of Hamburg 1536). Christian III then consolidated his power, expropriated church assets and introduced the Reformation in Denmark and Norway.

As Duke of Schleswig and Holstein


Double shilling 1534, Schleswig.     Ø 28 mm, 3,54 g.   Galster 132; Lange 20c.
Obv.:   CRISTIANVS:D:G:DVX·HOLSACI♣
Effigy in armor. Below the coat of arms of Holstein (nettle leaf).
Rev.:   ✱MONETA NOVA:SLESVICENSIS:   "New money of Schleswig"
Arms of Schleswig (two walking lions on top of each other) between rings, on top the date 1534.


Double shilling 1537, Roskilde or Copenhagen.    Ø 28 mm, 3,79 g.  Galster 132; Lange 22b.
CRISTIAИVS:D:G:DVX·HOLSACIS   //   MOИETA ИOVA:SLESVICEИSIS
As before, but date ◦37◦
The piece was minted in Roskilde or Copenhagen under the direction of the mint master Reynold Junge, although the inscription refers Schleswig as mint location.

As King of Denmark and Norway


4 Skilling 1534, Roskilde.     Ø 28 mm.   Galster 99 var.
Obv.:   ·CRISTIANVS·D·G·ELECTor·REX·DAnia·   -   Effigy in armor to the right.
Rev.: MONETA·NOVA·ROSCILDNSI ¤  "New Money from Roskilde"
Arms of Denmark (3 lions) between date 3 - 4.
Christian was here elected king, but not unchallenged recognized.


2 Skilling 1536, Copenhagen.     Ø 23 mm.   Galster 105.
CRISTIAN.D.G·REX:DANIA:ET: - N   //   MONETA NOVA HAFNIENSIS 36:
Here Christian had survived the count feud.


Taler 1537, Copenhagen.     Ø 40 mm, 29,13 g.   Galster 102; Dav.8226.
Obv.:   :CRISTIAИVS:D:G:REX:DAИIE:ET:ИORW.   -   Crowned and armored effigy to the right,
shouldering the scepter with the right hand, the left hand on the sword grip.

Rev.:   ·MOИETA:ИOVA:REGИI:DAИIE:
Crowned quartered coat of arms, on it another quartered central coat of arms, everything exactly as below.


Taler 1547, Flensburg.     Ø 40 mm, 28,53 g.   Hede 19 ; Lange 20c ; Dav.8237.
Obv.:   CHRISTIA·3 D:G·REX·DANI·NOR·DVX·SL· ¤
"Christian III by the grace of God King of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Schleswig"
Effigy in armor, the left hand on the sword handle, date 15 - 47 to the sides.
Rev.:   MO·DVCATV.SLESVICE·Z·HOLSA   "Money of the Duchy of Schleswig and Holstein"
quartered coat of arms: Denmark, Norway, the Kingdom of the Goths and the Wends
lying on it: Schleswig (2 lions), Holstein (nettle leaf), Stormarn (swan), Oldenburg (2 bars).

Compare the painting c. 1550 by Jacob Binck at Det Nationalhistoriske Museum Frederiksborg Slot, Copenhagen.


Taler 1546, Gimsøy for Norwey.     Ø 35 mm.   Dav.8227.
Source: Gimsøydaleren - Norges mest ettertraktede mynt (only Norwegian).

Obv.:  CHRISTIANVS·3·D:G·DANIE·NORWEGIE♣  -  Crowned effigy to the right, scepter and sword.
Rev.:   VANDALORVM·GOTORVM·QVE·REX·I546:   -   Norway's coat of arms: lion holds ax.

Lit.:
• Galster, G.: Unionstidens Udmøntninger - Danmark og Norge 1397-1540, Sverige 1363-1521.
    Copenhagen 1972
• Hede, H.: Danmarks og Norges Mønter. Copenhagen 1971
• Lange, Chr.: Chr. Langes Sammlung Schleswig-Holsteiner Münzen und Medaillen. Bd.1&2, Berlin 1908/12
• Schou, H.H.: Beskrivelse af Danske og Norske mønter 1448-1814 og Danske mønter 1815-1923.
    Copenhagen 1926

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